Thanks to Mauricio Pochettino – Chelsea could save millions in transfer market 

Thanks to Mauricio Pochettino – Chelsea could save millions in transfer market

Enzo Maresca does not officially start as Chelsea head coach until July 1 but the Italian has been doing plenty of work elsewhere in order to get a head-start.

Maresca, after accepting the offer to become Blues boss, asked the data department to provide performance analysis on each and every player from youth level up to the first-team. The 44-year-old is excited for his role to begin so he can explain to his new squad about his system, ideology and how it can become a winning formula at Stamford Bridge.

However, there could be some turnover when it comes to the playing squad the Italian coach will inherit this summer. A host of players have been linked with departures from SW6 while the club are keen to strengthen their squad in certain areas to help Maresca, who has signed a five-year contract, get off to the best possible start.

Chelsea, though, will be keeping a cautious eye on how much they do spend with the Premier League’s strict stance on its Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR). What happened last season, however, may have actually helped Chelsea when it comes to this summer.

In what was a packed campaign in terms of injuries at Stamford Bridge, former head coach Mauricio Pochettino was forced to call upon some of the academy’s finest talents to help with first-team matters. None more so than Alfie Gilchrist, who established himself as a senior player in a season where he finished with 17 appearances in all competitions for his boyhood club.

The 20-year-old versatile defender earned himself a nickname, ‘The Closer’, on social media among Chelsea supporters for his ability to help close the game out when brought on with a few minutes remaining. Such performances earned Gilchrist an extension on his contract in west London – signalling the club’s belief and faith in the youngster.

“Signing this contract at Chelsea is a massive achievement for me and my family,” the Cobham graduate said back in April. “It was a no-brainer and every time I’ve signed a contract here it has felt nicer and nicer. But now I want to keep on pushing on and keep improving.”

 

Chelsea signed Tosin Adarabioyo last week; a deal that made sense for the club given the 26-year-old was available on a free transfer. There are murmurs the Blues could be in the market for another centre-back as well but that could well rely on Trevoh Chalobah and his future.

Chelsea will welcome offers for Chalobah this summer and there is set to be plenty of interest in the 24-year-old, who ended last season with some fantastic performances. Gilchrist, though, could be the man to save the club millions in that respect.

He has mostly been used at right-back for Chelsea thus far but he can also play in the middle of defence. Gilchrist’s versatility makes him a great option for Maresca – and at this stage of his career, being fit and available on a consistent basis will do wonders for any manager’s faith in him.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Bashir Humphreys as well, who is set to return to the club this summer following a loan spell with Swansea City in the Championship. The 21-year-old impressed for the Swans in the second-tier, where he featured 24 times in the league.

Humphreys was highly impressive under Pochettino during the club’s 2023 pre-season tour of the United States. After signing for the Welsh club on loan, the defender penned a new contract extension at Stamford Bridge, meaning he could be looked at in detail this summer.

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